Neil deGrasse Tyson Calls BS On Tesla Cybertruck vs F-150 Tug-O-War

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is well known for taunting and teasing via Twitter. He has been promising that Tesla would beat Ford to market with an electric truck and that its truck would do everything that the Ford F-150 can do. A couple of days after the unveiling of the prototype Tesla Cybertruck, looking every bit as ugly on video as it did on stage, pulling a Ford F-150 uphill in a tug-o-war contest.

The implication was that the Cybertruck was more powerful and better at pulling than the Ford. It didn’t take long for the internet to call out the baloney in the footage, just as happened when Ford showed its electric F-150 pulling train cars.

In Tesla’s case, the video it posted prompted famous scientist and TV personality Neil de Grasse Tyson to step up and call out the BS. Tyson tweeted back at Tesla that if the F-150 is RWD with no payload, then the weight on the rear axle is greatly reduced, offering only “mild traction” for the Tesla to overcome. Tyson notes that the stunt was more about the physics of friction than engine power. He points out that EVs are “famously heavy” and says its all about the weight born by spinning tires.

Musk noted that electric motors have high torque and if you load both trucks to the max, electric still wins. Tyson says fully load the F-150 to give it the highest traction and “then try and drag it up the hill” otherwise, he says load them both to the max, and highest torque wins. Musk said, “Agreed, this will be exciting to see!” It sounds as if a full-loaded tow-off is in the works. Ford’s Sunny Madra got in on the action asking Elon to send a Tesla Cybertruck, and they would do the apples-to-apples test.

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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4 Comments

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  1. I wondered what happened to all of the engineers that left Lockheed Martin after the F117 Nighthawk production ceased.
    That thing is huge! The F150 SuperCrew in the photo is no compact even with the 5′ box, and it is dwarfed by the Cybertruck. To everybody that ponied up a $100 deposit: this is not going to make it into production in this form. This is vaporware, clickbait, smoke & mirrors etc. An experiment to see how long it would take to raise $20 million dollars ($100 refundable deposit X 200,000 claimed deposits).

  2. Christopher G Blanchard, I believe your observations are correct. Also the truck in this video has no Ecoboost emblems on the door – I wonder what it is powered with.
    Taking traction out of the equation it’ll be hard to predict a winner. In a rematch Ford will surely put the engine it thinks best in the next pull-off. My thinking is this: can Fords best half ton towing rig win in this contest against a direct drive electric motor powered competitor? The Ford will channel it’s power through a torque converter/ 10 speed transmission vs direct drive battery electric vehicle. This will be interesting….

  3. Yeah! The do-over I want to see is the F-150 BEV Prototype hook up against the Cybertrk. I’d think that’d be apples-to-apples comparison! Right?

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